Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr

Make a Geocache Trail

Use a satellite-linked location finder called a GPS receiver to track down boxes filled with "treasures" of all kinds.

Ranger Rick
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Average Rating:
Participant Age: 7 to 12, 12 and up
Approximate Cost: $0, Under $10, Over $100, $10 to $100
Duration: 1 to 60 minutes
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • GPS device
  • Marker
  • Thick masking tape, for labelling your temporary geocaches
  • Prizes (inexpensive toys, stickers, pins etc.)
  • Waterproof containers
Geocaching is a kind of high-tech treasure hunt.

You use a satellite-linked location finder called a GPS receiver to track down boxes filled with "treasures" of all kinds.

It's a way to explore new places while getting outside and enjoying a fun challenge.

  1. Get an adult to visit geocaching.com online and sign your family up for a free account.
  2. Then search the site to find a list of caches near you
  3. Grab your GPS receiver and go hunting!
  4. If you're heading out on a warm, summer's day, plan on taking along some water, snacks, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. 
  5. It's always nice to help Mother Earth. Bring some trash bags along and clean up litter as you go. 

Another way to enjoy geocaching is to set up temporary caches for yourself.

This is a great way to get someone familiar with using a GPS device. Setting up your own geocaches can be a fun birthday party activity for children old enough to read a GPS (approximately age 6).

Make a small "geocache" by putting some prizes in a waterproof container. We used a screw-top couscous container for example. Put a note on the container explaining it is part of a treasure hunt in case someone finds it. Hopefully they will leave it alone.


Hide your temporary geocaches.

Walk around your neighborhood and find a place to hide your geocache.

It can be difficult to find a geocache in places where there are a lot of trees, because the trees obscure the GPS signal from satellites. So for a beginner using a GPS device, put your geocaches in places with open sky, such as in a meadow.

Once you find a hiding place, write down the coordinates from the GPS device. This is the clue you will give your geocachers. Coordinates always have a latitude and longitude.


Give your geocachers the GPS device and the geocache's coordinates.

Then they can go find your temporary geocache and get some prizes.

You could create a series of geocaches as well, by putting the coordinate for the next one inside the first one.

Be sure to clean up your geocaches after the fun is over unless you register it as a permanent geocache at geocaching.com.


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